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Thread: Wheelchair hunt

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Default Wheelchair hunt

    We went to wheelchair store today. They sell an easy to lift 20 lb with detachable big wheels. Made by Drive for $459,

    Medicare won't pay for it. He showed me what they will pay. It's too heavy to lift, about 50 lbs. and MORE EXPENSIVE.

    Is this Medicare way of saying, we only buy you a chair if you only leave it at home?

    The $459 I can swing that, but there weee no other chairs to try out for comfort. The seat was only 18x16 and I wished it were longer to offer more thigh support. It stops a few inches above the back of the knee.

    I found it hard to turn the wheels for more than a minute. It was on store carpet. He had none of that kind to rent to see if I like it.

    Comments?

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  3. #2
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    It's a beginning but sound like you need to see more wc's.

    When my father was home post-stroke, cancer and PAD surgery, my mother was having trouble transporting him. I told her about light weight wheel chairs. I called his doctor's office emphasizing the "lightweight" and "foldable" features that were needed.

    An hour later a durable medical equipment company delivered the very heavy wc that they use to transport patients around hospitals. Useless to my parents.

    ANN
    Last edited by stillstANNding; 05-08-2017 at 10:33 AM.
    There comes a time when silence is betrayal.- MLK

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    Does the $459 chair have smooth tires? Those are a b**** on carpet, or on anything but a smooth floor. You need tires with treads (which will add another $100 to your chair). I'm talking serious treads, not the smooth tires, or shallow treads.

    Medicare indeed will only pay for the clunky heavy models. Indeed, they don't expect you to go outside, or go on any surface but flat shiny floors. The 18x16 seat is standard on all models (from cheap to most expensive). Getting a longer seat will cost you more money.

    Moving any wheelchair with you in it is cumbersome, even the lightweight models. You gain strength over time, enabling you to push yourself further. I used to wheel independently across a huge parking lot. When I got out of bed 10 months ago I could barely wheel myself through the house. Over time I've gotten better, but still not back to the full parking lot yet!

    Spinlife.com has a chart you might want to look at, which gives you all the pertinent measurements for a chair -- foot rest angle and height, back heights, etc. And you'll get an idea about all the customization -- most of which cost extra -- that you might need to consider. Good luck!
    ...I am not a doctor nor medical professional, and don't pretend to be one, here... :o

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    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Ok. I didn't know about treads. I will check.thanks. Will also check paying for longer seat.

    Seems like the local places have limited supply to try out different models.

    I liked spinlife website...but one cannot try it out.

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    I'm going to ask about wheels with treads too. I didn't realize that that was an option that would help. Thank you, Cat Dancer! These smooth wheels make travel on carpeting a real workout for the arms.

    Medicare/Medicaid paid for my original Everest and Jennings manual chair, which was pretty heavy (about 32 lbs.) and paid for this new chair about 6 years ago--a Breezy Ultra 4 (30 lbs.):


    http://www.1800wheelchair.com/produc...FVKPfgodbFgF2g


    The wheelchair sales rep did the measurements. I didn't try anything out either time but went with the wheelchair rep's recommendations. He seemed to know what Medicare would and wouldn't cover and dealt with getting the doctor's rx (the second time) as well. The first time I approached the doctor and discussed it with him, and he wrote the rx according to my specifications.

    This chair isn't nearly as lightweight as I'd wanted but after removing the easily removable parts (set, armrests, legrests, even the wheels sometimes) it's not so bad. The snap-on wheels mean that the main frame of the chair actually weighs a lot less.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  11. #6
    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Turns out I hurt my back in May 8 at the wheelchair store. I tried to pick up the one Medicare covers, its 50 pounds. I don't know what I was thinking.

    So it's probably just a strained muscle, it's been slowly improving, luckily.

    Am thinking maybe it's a bad idea to use a wheelchair for now. Even with the 25 lb chair, it's a lot of bending and hoisting, and having to attach and detach the wheels in the 90 degree heat.

    If I get worse, I can skip right up to a motorized scooter.

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    Distinguished Community Member Howie's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by BBS1951 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    If I get worse, I can skip right up to a motorized scooter.
    If you can skip, you don't need a scooter!
    Roswell was a gift.

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    What a shame, to have been injured in a wheelchair store while trying to lift one of those chairs that are usually heavier than you think they are.

    I'm finding the snap-on wheels daunting too. I've never snapped them on or off unassisted and wouldn't dare. I'm not confident that I could get the wheel back on because my vision isn't good enough to see what I'm doing on the inside of the wheel, where there's a (tiny!) pin that has to catch just right.

    I'm hoping my son can stand by while I give it a try over the weekend. With some practice I hope to get better at it.

    There's an illustration in the manual but I can't make out the detail, and it's NOT just my eyesight. The illustrations are all poorly done, muddy-looking.

    This whole mobility-aid scene could be a lot better than it is, at least for people with MS.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    Agate, it is hard to learn all these things about mobility aids. Yesterday I used a cane to go into the Doctor's office and all I was carrying was my pocketbook and the cane and still I felt awkward walking. I think it is because I have become so clumsy.

    I was thinking about a walker like the one Ann showed a picture of, but I think it weighed about 22 lbs. I am not sure I could carry that up and down my outside brick stairs, then put it in the car and get it out whenever I stopped. I don't know what the best solution is. I keep on trying to do without anything for as long as possible. If I used something like that it would be to go shopping, so then I would also have packages to carry and get back into the house along with the walker. If I did not have the outside steps it would help some, but would still be a problem if I bought very many items. I do wish I had a garage. I can see how one could help just to go for a walk in the neighborhood, but beyond that for my purposes I am not so sure.
    Virginia

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  19. #10
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    Virginia, this is a hard question but is it time to think about living in building w an elevator and underground parking? Is that available there?

    ANN
    There comes a time when silence is betrayal.- MLK

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